COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Mikael Samuelsson scored on a lazy, deflected popup that wafted over goalie Steve Mason's head, capping the Vancouver Canucks' comeback from a two-goal deficit to beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Friday night.
It was the first loss for interim coach Claude Noel after he won his fist three.
Rick Nash, Jared Boll and Raffi Torres had goals for Columbus, which failed in its attempt to win a fourth game in a row for the first time this season.
Andrew Raycroft (100-100-26) earned his 100th career win.
The Canucks, far removed from the Olympic frenzy back home, were playing their seventh game on the longest road trip (14 games) in NHL history. Before it is over they will have gone 42 days between home games, spanning the league's Olympic break.
With Columbus ahead 3-2 going into the third period, Salo tied it on a power play goal. Henrik Sedin's pass from the left corner found Salo by himself between the circles. He had time to stop the puck and tee it up before firing a hard shot over sliding defenseman Jan Hejda and in off the right post at 4:31.
That set the stage for Samuelsson's winner. He took a short pass from Ryan Kesler, who played college hockey at nearby Ohio State, and attempted a one-timer from the high slot. Columbus forward Derick Brassard got a stick on the puck at almost the same time as Samuelsson followed through, the puck squirting up into the air and slowly drifting over Mason like a short chip shot.
That was the first deficit the Blue Jackets have faced under Noel, who failed to become the first Columbus coach to win his first four games. He took over for the fired Ken Hitchcock on Feb. 3.
It took just 2:38 to register the first three goals, then 9 seconds in the second period separated two more.
Only 22 seconds in, Nash coasted down the left wing, swiveled to screen the puck behind defenseman Alexander Edler and then snapped a shot inside the far post.
It was the sixth game in a row that the Blue Jackets scored first.
The Canucks countered at 2:08, when Alex Burrows found Baumgarter all alone for a one-timer at the bottom of the left circle. It was his first NHL goal in four years, the last also coming against Columbus, and only his seventh in 138 career games.
Just 30 seconds later, the Blue Jackets buzzed the net and it paid off. Derek Dorsett's shot was stopped by Raycroft, but the rebound went to Andrew Murray, who backhanded it at Raycroft. This time the rebound drifted just a few feet away but Boll was able to get a stick on it, punching it past Raycroft as he backed into the net.
The Blue Jackets went up 3-1 on Torres' one-timer off a bouncing, side-to-side pass from Jake Voracek. Before that could be announced, Mason mishandled a puck behind his own goal giving Steve Bernier an open shot from a hard angle. The Blue Jackets was able to block that one, but the puck glanced to Wellwood in the high slot and he had no trouble getting it by Mason, who had fallen down.
That cut the Columbus lead to 3-2 throught two periods and set the stage for the Canucks' big comeback.
NOTES: Samuelsson went down courtesy of Columbus D Milan Jurcina's high stick late in the first period. Samuelsson returned later during the double-minor. ... Each team had 35 shots. ... The Blue Jackets had killed all 16 power plays they faced over their last five games before Salo scored. ... The Blue Jackets are now 19-5-3 with a lead heading into the third, while the Canucks improved to 7-14-1 when down with 20 minutes left.